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Toyota will start the opening round of the 2014 World Endurance Championship from pole position after upstaging rivals Audi and Porsche in a closely fought qualifying for the Silverstone 6 Hours.

Debuting a new qualifying format for 2014, whereby the two nominated drivers of each car would have their best two lap times (four in total) averaged out to determine the qualifying time, the session would prove suitably close.

Indeed, though it was Audi's Tom Kristensen that would set the fastest time of the session as a whole, once the lap times between himself and his team-mates was averaged out, it would leave the car second to Toyota, with the car shared by Kazuki Nakajima, Alexander Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin grabbing the top spot.

A very close session amidst the leading protagonists, Porsche made it three different manufacturers inside the top three, with the leading 919 Hybrid of Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb and Neel Jani qualifying in third place.

Audi's second entry of Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer and Andre Lotterer will start fourth, with the second Toyota and Porsche following in fifth and sixth respectively. Rebellion Racing's two LMP1 cars bring up the 'rear' in seventh and eighth.

Following the form of free practice, the G-Drive Morgan Nissan continued to set the pace in qualifying, ahead of the KCMG Oreca and the two SMP Racing entries.

In LM GTE Pro, Ferrari fought back against its main Porsche rivals to grab pole position courtesy of Toni Vilander and Gimmi Bruni, ahead of the two Manthey 911s and the second of the AF Corse Ferraris, driven by James Calado and Davide Rigon. Winners at Silverstone last year, Aston Martin could only manage fifth with Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke.

In the LMGTE Am class, AF Corse will also start on pole position thanks to Sam Bird, the British driver continuing to impress to get himself amongst several Pro teams.